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It’s a known fact that, when it comes to car insurance, it pays to shop around for a new provider every year.
Most insurance companies reserve their better deals for new customers, enticing them in with great offers while hoping that their existing customers would rather go through with their automatic renewal than find a cheaper deal elsewhere.
If you decide to switch providers, your new insurance company may ask you whether or not you have a no claims bonus (NCB) – and if so, how many years you have held it for.
This handy bonus proves how likely you are to make a claim in the future, allowing insurance companies to offer you what is called a ‘no claims discount’ on your premium. Discounts vary, but some companies offer premiums up to 70% cheaper with a valid NCD.
To get this discount, though, you’ll need to provide proof – you may not have made a claim in the last 10 years, but your insurer is unlikely to simply take your word for it. So how do you get proof of no claims? We explain all you need to know below.
What is a no claims discount?
A ‘no claims discount’ (NCD) or ‘no claims bonus’ (NCB) is earned for each year that a driver does not make a claim on their car insurance.
Drivers who can go several years without making any claims (therefore earning a no claims discount) are viewed by insurance companies as a lower risk driver and will therefore be rewarded with a cheaper premium.
The amount of discount offered can vary from insurer to insurer, as can the maximum number of years that you need to accrue to achieve the maximum no claims discount (NCD).
For example, some insurers only allow customers to earn a discount for up to 5 years no-claims, while others offer additional discounts for up to 9 years.
READ MORE: What is a no-claims bonus?
Do insurance companies ask for proof of no-claims?
Yes. When switching insurance providers, most will request that you provide proof of your no-claims bonus when getting a quote.
How to get proof of your no claims discount
As discussed previously, one of the best ways to find cheaper car insurance deals is by shopping around towards the end of your existing policy.
If you find a better deal elsewhere then the first thing you should do is contact your current provider to make sure that they don’t renew your policy automatically – when doing so, you should also request proof of your no-claims bonus.
Different insurance companies have different ways of providing you with proof of your no claims discount. For example, one company may send out a renewal or cancellation letter with your proof of no claims included, whereas another may only send you proof if you request it.
It is common for an insurer to ask to see proof of your no claims discount when you take out a new policy with them to prevent fraud.
As there are different ways in which no-claims discount proof is provided by different insurers, you should contact your previous insurance company and request to be sent the information or advised on how to go about getting it.
You may find that your annual renewal letter serves as confirmation of your no claims bonus.
How to provide proof of no-claims discount
There is usually a time limit on providing your new insurer with proof of no claims discount – this tends to be between 7 and 10 days.
If you fail to meet this deadline you face the risk of your policy being invalid, leaving you uninsured in the event of an accident.
Some insurance companies will only accept the original letter proving your no-claims discount confirmation, so make sure you make a copy of the letter for your own records.
These days, most car insurance providers will allow you to simply take a photo of your proof of no-claims discount and send it to them electronically. This is usually via email, the provider’s website or the provider’s smartphone app.
When your insurance company has received your proof of no claims, they should send you some sort of confirmation to let you know. If you haven’t heard from them within a week, it is worth contacting them to find out. Never assume that they have received your proof as you could be driving around without insurance.
Most car insurance policies come with a range of optional extras, one of which is a protected no-claims bonus.
A protected no-claims bonus does as it says on the tin, allowing drivers to retain their discount even after making a claim.
It should be noted that this will not entirely prevent price increases on future policies as, if the driver has been involved in an accident (regardless of fault), it must be stated on future applications.
How long is proof of no claims valid for?
In most cases, proof of no claims is only valid for 2 years if the policyholder does not renew their insurance.
This means that if a driver is off the road for longer than 2 years, their no-claims discount will revert back to 0 years the next time that they take out car insurance.
Can you have a no-claims discount on two cars?
In most cases, insurers will not allow a no-claims bonus to be used on 2 vehicles.
However, there are a number of insurance companies that ‘mirror’ no claims discount, meaning policyholders will get the same discount on their 2nd car as they did the first.
No-claims bonus fraud
The savings that can be made by a lengthy no claims bonus period can be significant, which can make it tempting to lie about your driving history.
This should not be an option under any circumstances.
Providing inaccurate information about your no-claims discount (or any other aspect of your driving history) will invalidate your cover from the minute it begins, making it practically useless.
Some drivers have been known to have purchased a fake no-claims bonus certificate online to trick insurers into offering them cheaper premiums. We can assure you that insurers are wise to this trick and, when you’re caught out, you could face charges of fraud.
Named driver no-claims discount
Most insurers do not allow named drivers to build up their own no-claims discount, meaning young drivers cannot build up their own NCD whilst driving somebody else’s car before buying their own.
Some insurers do offer named driver no-claims discounts, though, with the proviso that their first full car insurance policy is taken out with the same insurer.
Car insurance advice with Bobatoo
You can also make use of Bobatoo’s expert car insurance services to help find a great deal on a policy which is suited to you and your needs.